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Citation managers

  1. Mar 2, 2005 #1

    Monique

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    Are there any free citation managers? I've worked with EndNote in the past, but don't have that on my computer.
     
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  3. Mar 2, 2005 #2

    Monique

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  4. Mar 2, 2005 #3

    Moonbear

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    I have to admit that there have been days that I've been tempted to go back to the old file card system and hand-entering citations. The time it takes me to go to EndNote and insert a reference or add it to the database, I could have had it typed in by hand. But I've always inserted citations as I write, so to me it's disruptive to my stream of thought to do that with EndNote if I already know what I'm citing. I guess I'm old-fashioned, or maybe I just type quickly enough that hand-entering references isn't such a big deal for me as it is for other people?
     
  5. Mar 3, 2005 #4

    DocToxyn

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    Do you use the web-search option in EndNote to electronically pull citations in from various on-line sources, that tends to speed up the database collection process. I think one advantage of these programs comes in their ability to manipulate the citation output styles to suit your needs. Differrent journals or funding agencies want in-text citations and the works cited pages done differently and hand-tailoring then each time can eat up time. Its fairly easy, and in many cases automated, to output the style however you want it with these programs. I agree that the collection of the database can be a time-consuming process but once you have it, it can be readily searched and integrated.

    My graduate advisor also used it to catalog his collection of hardcopy papers he has collected over the years. He has over 7000 paper copies in his office coded with a unique number in his citation program. It allows him to quickly find relevant articles by searching key words or authors and keeps him from re-printing or requesting new copies every time you want to look at the paper, but can't find the last one you had in-hand. I realize this has less function as more and more papers are available for on-line viewing, but there is still a lot of useful info that has yet to be converted. These programs may not be perfect, but having "grown up" with them, I find them quite useful.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2005 #5

    Moonbear

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    Yes, I use that feature, and find it cumbersome as well. If I've already done my lit search and have the references in hand, having to search again just to pick out an article from a list of papers from a group is still slower for me than typing in the entry.

    In theory, changing the output style sounds like a benefit, but in practice, I've found it eats up more of my time arguing with endnote about what that style should be, especially when Word crashes every time I try to browse for a new style that isn't already in my favorites list, or when the style in EndNote for a journal is wrong based on the instructions to the authors. I didn't quite grow up using these things, so I think I'm just used to my own way of doing it. My first job in a "lab" was sitting in a professor's office entering every reference in his file cabinets (2 four-drawer cabinets) into one of the early databases. Once they were all entered, it was easier to search for what he already had, back when it meant possibly walking to three different libraries to search for articles. Medline was only a recent aquisition to the medical library (it was around before that, but wasn't all that convenient to access, and required using a single dedicated computer hidden in a back corner of the library, and had strict user time-limits), most searching was still done using bound indexes of abstracts. (Index Medicus was always a good starting place). PubMed came to existence and to be used more widely when I was in grad school, but still wasn't the work horse it is today (we used to think it would never replace bound index searches because it missed so many of the relevant articles).

    That was a useful feature before almost everything became available as PDFs online. I've given up on saving PDFs of articles, because I never find them again on my computer. It's easier to just download again when I want to read it again. If I think I'll use it a lot, I print it. The older articles I have that aren't online are easy enough to look for if they come up again in a search by just looking in my files by first author last name. Besides, that forces me to pay attention to the authors of articles. The ones I use most often (get dragged out for almost everything I write) no longer get filed away when I'm done, they just reside in a stack of folders on the floor next to my desk.

    I know, I'm hopeless. Just wait, you're only a few years away from driving your own students and postdocs nuts with the quirks you don't think are quirks yet. :rofl:

    PS - Will you be at the Tox meeting in New Orleans next week? I have a free calendar from Charles River that must list every conference they set up booths at, so just spotted that coming up. If so, I'm jealous...enjoy warm weather! March is a nice time of year to be in New Orleans.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2005 #6

    DocToxyn

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    Yes, I will be there. I'm really going for the food and to catch up with colleagues, the science is just a distraction. :wink:
     
  8. Mar 3, 2005 #7

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: Isn't that the truth! Gumbo, yummm! And if you're in the mood for a Hurricane and don't want those awful ones made from powdered mixes, stop in the bar at Ralph & Kakoo's (good dinner there too). Enjoy!
     
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